Mark Hebblewhite, Professor
Born in Montreal and raised in Ontario by British parents awed by Canada's wilderness, my childhood love of wildlife was kickstarted into a career by a lucky park ranger job in Hudson Bay when I was 18. I've conducted research on wildlife from songbirds to bears, focusing on wolves and their ungulate prey across Canada, the US, eastern Europe and Mongolia. My main research objectives are to always combine strong empirical approaches to the conservation of terrestrial wildlife and the systems in which they live. To me, large ungulates and their predators are good entry points to understanding ecosystems because of their important roles and their conservation and management relevance. I love running, mountain biking, hiking and walks with my wife Emily, children Anna and Simon and our dog, Koda, a poorly trained Husky.
Brenna Cassidy, PhD student
Brenna is from northern Illinois where her curiosity for the natural world grew in the forests and tall grass prairies. She completed a degree in wildlife ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and spent summers during her undergrad in northern Wisconsin or Yellowstone National Park. After graduating in 2012, she returned to Yellowstone and worked on projects studying wolves, birds and cougars. She started at University of Montana in 2018. Her PhD research examines the ecological and evolutionary drivers of lifetime reproductive success of gray wolves in Yellowstone. Outside work, she can usually be found trail running, skiing, mountain biking or in the pottery studio.
Tara Meyer, PhD student
Tara’s interests in science drove her to study ecology as an undergraduate at Colgate University, and afterwards, technician positions studying African elephants in Tanzania and grey wolves in Wyoming. In 2015 Tara earned her MESc from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, studying snow leopards in western Tajikistan. After Yale, Tara worked as a human-wildlife coexistence biologist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and then developed capacity building initiatives with the Wildlife Conservation Network. She was named an Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leader in 2017, and during her two-year fellowship she contributed research towards monitoring Grauer's gorillas in the DRC. For her PhD, Tara will be examining how climate shifts in the Canadian Rockies influence predator-prey dynamics (part of the Ya Ha Tinda Long-Term Elk Monitoring project). Tara spends her free time with her husband David and daughter Madeline, exploring the outdoors with friends and visiting family in Oregon and Virginia.
Connor Meyer, PhD student
Connor grew up in western Washington where he gained an appreciation for the outdoors by exploring the Cascade Mountains andpending time on the water in Puget Sound. After graduating from the University of Washington with a degree in wildlife conservation, he found his way onto the Yellowstone Wolf and Cougar Projects. After five years in Yellowstone Nationa Park, Connor joined the Hebblewhite Lab for his PhD and migrates north to the Ya Ha Tinda Long-Term Elk Monitoring Project. He is interested in understanding the intrinsic and extrinsic factors influencing an individual’s decision to switch migration tactics, including predation risk, forage quality and the previous year’s reproductive success. When not working, Connor can be found attempting to stave off injury while running, hiking, biking and skiing.
Gabrielle Coulombe, Research Associate
Gabrielle has long been passionate about wildlife and the outdoors, growing up in Québec, Canada, with direct access to nature. She has worked with a range of species, from a critically endangered bird on a tropical island in the Pacific Ocean to mountain lions in Colorado. A unifying theme in her interests is the conservation and recovery of wildlife habitats and populations through the interface between science and management decisions. She has over 11 years of experience working collaboratively to collect and analyze data, develop protocols and training materials, and presenting findings. Gabrielle joined the Hebblewhite lab in 2019, where she helps coordinate research activities on elk and caribou in the US and Canada. Her favorite activities are hiking and spending time outdoors with her family, Chris, Maya and Tessa.
Birch Gano, Ya Ha Tinda Lead Field Biologist
Birch was born and raised in rural Alberta on a cattle ranch. She completed her undergraduate in biology at the University of Victoria. Birch has worked with species at risk including swift foxes, greater sage grouse, and Vancouver Island marmots. Birch’s interest in ungulate ecology, predator-prey relationships, and love for the field led her back to the Canadian Rockies where she now works as the lead field biologist on the Ya Ha Tinda Long-term Elk Monitoring project. Birch enjoys skiing, horseback riding, joining in on her friends hunting trips, or planning her next oversees adventure.